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Australian Sikh games open in Sydney

Written by: Staff
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Sydney, Apr 14 (UNI) Over 1000 participants representing 75 teams from Australia and other countries will be vying for honours in Soccer, Hockey, Volleyball, Netball and Kabaddi at the 19th Australian Sikh games which were declared open here today.

The three-day sporting festival would conclude on the Easter Sunday.

While the largest number of participants are from Sydney, contingents from state capitals like Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide will also participate in the games.

Smaller farm towns like Griffith, Woolgoolga, Glossop, Murrilwambah, Sheparton, etc have also sent teams to take part in the Sikh Games.

Like in the past, the 19th Sikh games in Sydney will play host to teams from as far as Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and number of European countries.

Mrs Louise Markus, Federal MP for Greenway in Sydney's west opened up the 19th Sikh games. She was representing Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who could not make it to the event due to his other engagements.

''Festivals and events such as these games enable the Sikh community to share its rich history and culture with other Australians, contributing to the mutual respect and understanding, which underpins Australia's multicultural society,'' Mr John Howard said in a message to the organisers of the Games.

A well-known figure among the Indian expatriates, Mr Laurie Ferguson represented Australian Opposition Leader Mr Kim Beazley, while Mrs Sandra Nori played the emissary of the New South Wales Premier Mr Morris Iemma.

''The annual Australian Sikh games give our youth an opportunity to learn about their roots and heritage. The games also provide the Sikh diaspora a platform to display their talent and culture to the wider communities,'' Moninder Singh, the main sponsor of the Sikh games said.

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